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Topic: Anatomy of a Cake Boss Cake
dottiepark 09/09/2012 4:41 PM
Just back from a baby shower where someone surprised the guest of honor with a cake from Carlo's. It was 4 layers, about 14 to 16 inches across, and she paid $500 for it. The pity is that the mom-to-be really could have used the $500! I had only ever tried Carlo's cupcakes, and I wasn't very impressed with them, so I was glad to have the chance to try one of his cakes. The fondant was very thick, at least 1/4 inch...hard to tell if it was Satin Ice but it wasn't particularly tasty. Thin layer of vanilla buttercream under the fondant and it was DEAD SWEET. I can eat spoonfuls of BW's buttercream but this stuff was too much, even for me. It had no discernible dairy flavor and a very faint artificial vanilla flavor. The vanilla cake was okay, kind of crumbly...again, no dairy or vanilla flavor. The chocolate "ganache" between the cake layers was very thick and tasty, but if that is true ganache, I am Tina Fey. I absolutely got that shortening feel in my mouth when I ate it by itself. The cake was gorgeous and impressive, but not worth eating. There was a smaller supermarket quarter sheet cake that was really pretty, beautifully air brushed with an unusual border and just the right amount of additional dots and flowers. It probably cost $25 and was much better than the expensive cake!
cakedujour 09/09/2012 4:50 PM
Wow. That is a really cute cake but for $500 it ought to taste like the gods baked it. But, then again, Buddy does think he's a god, doesn't he? Sorry, I just don't even watch anymore. That Next Great Baker show really turned me off for good. I used to DVR cake boss and speed through the family drama stuff so I could watch the cake parts, but I don't bother with any of it now. I guess I'm being judgmental and I apologize if I offended anyone, but I'm still going to hit the reply button. Thanks for the critique, dottie. I haven't heard a positive review of his cake yet.
dietcokenoice 09/09/2012 6:17 PM
It's a cute cake but I have seen more impressive looking cakes here on this forum. Can someone please tell me, do you really charge $500 for a cake like that? Or is he just able to because he's the "Cake Boss"?
dottiepark 09/09/2012 7:12 PM
It was a HUGE cake but not a difficult one to do. The cake board was Masonite, neatly covered in fondant with ribbon around the edge. It was beautifully done, for a round fondant cake with stuff stuck to it. The woman who bought it said she really wanted the diaper bag cake but THAT one was $1700! I imagine Carlo's has a minimum order price (I know Charm City Cakes does) so perhaps that was why it was $500. (PS: My cake friend who uses a lot of fondant said it WAS Satin Ice, just rolled thick. )
sweetgrandma 09/09/2012 9:27 PM
I hate to hear that...especially since my dil and granddaughter and grandson-in-law were there a few days ago. They sent me a pic of the store front and they were going to try some of the goodies. They get back home in a couple of days so I'll get a report...maybe even a sample. I really hope they didn't waste their money!! We're all cake boss fans but I agree about the next great baker shows! Not my cup of tea!
tmana 09/09/2012 11:26 PM
If you go to the Satin Ice web site, you'll see Buddy's face among all the "big name bakers" who endorse the product. I'd like to try the product just to say I've tried it, but it's significantly more expensive than Wilton and harder to find.
whoknew? 09/10/2012 1:23 AM
That is so cool that you took pictures of the whole cake AND the slice. Thanks!

I live on the opposite coast from Carlo's Bakery, so this is probably as close as I'll get to a slice of
"Buddy" cake. I hear that the Albertson's stores have some of his frozen cakes made at the Lackawana facility for about $35.

I figure he's done well with his 15 minutes of fame and has increased the awareness of custom cakes and helped raise the overall pricing by a huge margin. Most people in America never even knew what a custom cake was until his TV show. I wish him well and hope his huge investment in the Lackawana facility goes well. It must have been a huge financial risk.

As far as taste, ehhh..... it's probably like pizza. Everybody has their favorite hole-in-the-wall pizza place and LOVES those pizzas! Carlo's Bakery probably has 2nd and 3rd generation kids coming in who grew up with happy memories of a "Carlo's" cake and say it's the best in the world.

Personally, I think any individual (let alone a WHOLE family), that lets cameras follow them around 24/7 is NOT my cup of tea. Sheesh! It gives me the shivers even thinking about it.

tmana 09/10/2012 7:57 AM
A couple of his cakes are available at BJ's here (I live in the same state as Carlo's Bakery), and they are plain fondant covered with very sloppy (RI or BC) trim. The cost is, I think, $20 or $30 for a 10" cake.
ginnyl 09/10/2012 8:16 AM
I have heard from other people that Cake Boss cakes are not the most tasty treats and not worth the cost. His Italian pastry is still the best...real old school baking.
I too have stopped watching his show..he offends me as an Italian..enough said.
Dottie, do you know what the actual size was. 10, 12"? And, did you take a photo of the sheet cake, just curious?
DessertDiva82 09/10/2012 9:40 AM
Thank you so much for sharing, Dottie. I was very interested to know how his cakes taste and look on the inside. And like others have said, I will probably never get to go to his bakery for myself, so thank you

I actually love Cake Boss, but I didn't like Next Great Baker. I don't remember which season or episode it was, but they made wedding cakes. They carted them up to the roof (I think they were told for a photo before delivering them? Can't remember...). They slaved over those cakes for hours, and then had to be so very careful in maneuvering them to the top. And then out of nowhere, Buddy had them dumped off the roof. I got his point, that accidents happen and you have to prepare for the worst (they then had to rush back to the kitchen and make a replacement cake in LESS time) but I was VERY upset about that. What a complete and total waste. You could just see the disgust and disbelief on the contestants' faces, and I shared it.
Mikel79 09/10/2012 10:10 AM

Let's say it was 16". That is $6.50 per serving!

Dang, here I thought $2.50 was expensive per serving?!?!

I don't care what part of the country you live in, that is a lot of money for a cake. Especially for just a single tier. Even though it was 4 layers. If it was a 3, 4 or 5 tier cake, I could see it.


atomicladie 09/10/2012 11:23 AM
Living in South Jersey quite a few people I know have had his cakes, and one being a dear caking friend, said is was really not that great and not worth the price. Someone else had his crumb cake and told me mine was 100% better. Everyone always wants me to bring it to work, so she should know. With that said, good for Buddy and his family, they have opened the eyes of a lot of people to the cake decorating world. As far as the decorations on the baby cake, seem liked they were popped out of a mold by mass production, not that there is anything wrong with that, but I have seen much better work done here.
dottiepark 09/10/2012 12:43 PM
I think the cake in the photo was 14 inches across. It was tall and difficult to slice neatly. The ratio of cake to frosting/filling/fondant was way off, IMHO. Wish I had a photo of the sheet cake!

In defense of Carlo's, it IS an Italian bakery, and I wish I could have tried the Italian specialties instead of just the big American-style cake.
atomicladie 09/10/2012 2:29 PM
Yes, I do hear the pastries are amazing! If I am ever in the area I would definitely go in and buy maybe a cupcake and a pastry, but after all I have heard, I would not make a special trip.....nice that someone will spend that kind of money just for the name, but I could have almost had a whole party planned for that kind of money.

I live in a resort area and one of the venue's on Long Beach Island, NJ only use Carlo's for the wedding cake, or did in the past, there was a whole newspaper article about it. I understand that just to rent the venue it is something like $30 thousand dollars, so I guess they can afford a cake from Buddy. I guess if you've got it flaunt it!!!!
cakesbychrystal 09/10/2012 7:36 PM
Oh wow! Not impressed by those non sculpted decorations. For $500 SOMETHING should have been made by hand. My pricing starts at $5/serv so $6.50 isn't bad for that area.
furball 09/10/2012 10:31 PM
Thanks for the pics! I've always wanted to see the inside of the cake. I think I would have expected alot more for 500 bucks. Like Chrystal said, something hand-made or something.
DessertDiva82 09/11/2012 9:38 AM
I also always wondered about the doneness. When I watch the show, all the cakes look rather burned on the bottoms/sides. I guess he has to have them that way so that they will hold up to all the stacking and building he does with them, but to me, even if it's gorgeous if the taste isn't there, it's not worth it. I am always glad to see him carving and shaving. I think yeah, scrape off the burnt part! lol.
dottiepark 09/11/2012 10:10 AM
People at the shower commented on the dry texture of the cake, but seriously, it had to hold up a LOT of weight (fondant). A moist cake would have just squished. Non-cakes don't get it but I knew you folks would!
whoknew? 09/11/2012 12:50 PM
Did the guests eat the fondant or lay it aside on the plate? Did you overhear any comments about the fondant being tasty or yucky?
dottiepark 09/11/2012 11:39 PM
This was not a fondant crowd!